Thursday

Look through nature to God

Bryce CanyonWhen you look at the greatness of the universe, does it make you feel less important or more important?

The psalmist looked beyond himself into the heavens and asked God, “What is man that you are mindful of him?” (Psalm 8:4). But instead of giving the answer we’d guess (I am NOTHING!), he was awed that God was not only capable of making all creation, but also of crowning one of his creatures with glory, giving him dominion over much.

As David looked through the medium of nature to see God, he became more amazed by God.

Everybody can see or hear or touch manifestations of God’s glory. But not everyone acknowledges it as God (Romans 1:21-23).

R.C. Sproul says in The Holiness of God that our failure to know God isn’t the problem. It’s our failure to believe what we know to be true (Romans 1:25). 

Here we face a problem that is not an intellectual problem. It is a moral problem. It is the problem of dishonesty.

…The dishonest exchange that is in view here is the substitution of the creature for the Creator, an exchange that is dishonest precisely because we know better.

…God's holiness is on display daily for everyone to see. Again it is not merely that it is available to be seen for those who earnestly search for it. Rather Paul’s point is that God’s holiness is seen, and it is seen clearly.

Sproul goes on to say that we’re accustomed to connecting God’s holiness with goodness. And connecting his holiness with truth.

But how often do we connect his holiness with beauty?

He speaks of this triad of virtues—the good, the true, and the beautiful—as pointing beyond themselves to the glory of God.

Beauty, though it involves the mind, goes beyond the limits of mere cognition. When we are “moved” by great works of art, we are gripped by an affective sense that stirs the soul as well as the mind.

To cultivate an appreciation for beauty is to set our course to follow after the sublime Author of all beauty.

Let the beauty of nature, of art, of music, etc., draw you into a greater appreciation of God’s glory and holiness. Look at a starry night and be amazed at its grandeur, but don’t stop there.

Keep looking until you see through it and are in awe of the good, true, and beautiful holy one who crafted it all, including you, for his glory and your good.

* * *The_Holiness_of_God_by_R.C.Sproul

NEXT:
Chapter 11, Holy Space and Holy Time

More on Ch 10, Looking beyond Shadows, at Challies

Previous chapters

2 comments:

Becky said...

Lisa,

How I loved this chapter!

How I have enjoyed reading along with you :)

Much love.

Barbara H. said...

Great post! I love how even secular music or art can stir our hearts to the Author of beauty and creativity and order.

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